Chtouka seawater desalination plant: farmers put to work

The DRIP Project Could Significantly Improve Irrigation in Moroccan Agriculture @ Larry / flickr

 Shtouka Seawater Desalination Plant: Farmers Involved

For the Station to be the largest in the world, the farmers of the plain of Chtouka will contribute to the financing of the site for 10,000 DH / Ha

The operation of subscription to the project of construction of the desalination station of Chtouka recorded on December 25 a total of 2,500 ha out of the 10,000 set as objective. This was announced by the director of the Regional Office for Agricultural Development of Souss-Massa (ORMVASM) Hrro Abro at the MAP on Friday 29 December. This operation is part of the involvement of local agricultural operators in the construction of the seawater desalination plant that will provide the province of Chtouka with a new source of supply.

ORMVASM recalls that the financing of the project by farmers is 10,000 DH / Ha. Significantly, 50% of the amount of this participation will only be paid once the project is finalized, ie in 2020. A global budget estimated at nearly 3 billion DH is expected to put into service this station located at nearly 300 meters of the ocean

The commissioning of the station will be carried out by the Spanish Abengoa. The Iberian operator was able to win the contract under a public-private partnership also including the National Office of Water and Electricity (ONEE) and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Passing the first objective of the use of desalinated water, namely the supply of drinking water, agriculture is also worth taking advantage of the mega project. This is the case of this station Agadir that the Ministry of Agriculture presents as the future "largest station in the world."

A PPP for an unbeatable price

Originally planned in Cape Ghir in the north of the city to only provide drinking water to a population estimated at 2.3 million inhabitants by 2030, the site has been moved further south, close to the agricultural plain of Shtouka.

choice was not trivial. The location concentrates nearly 90% of Moroccan agricultural exports. Chtouka is also the victim of an over-pumping which seriously threatens the water table of the Souss valley.

" The project took shape following the request of the farmers between 2006 and 2007. After study, it has was agreed to pool this station between drinking water and irrigation "said Mohamed Ouhssaine, Director of Irrigation and Development of Agricultural Space within the Ministry of Agriculture. Our source emphasizes that his department has weighed in the investment negotiations of this large building site to produce eventually 200,000 m3 / d.

For an envelope of 2.6 billion DH contracted with the Spanish group Abengoa, the price of m3 was set at 5.4 dirhams. The lowest in the world according to the ministry. " To move from a cost of 16 DH to a sales price of DH 5.4 / m3, the state will contribute 1.86 billion DH ," said Mohamed Ouhsaine, pursuing that it is from now on " to the agricultural operators to adapt by focusing on productions not too greedy in water "

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